Estonian-American curator Juri Koll brings Basquiat and Warhol to Tallinn

An extensive international art exhibit, “Edge to Edge”, opened at Tallinn’s Fahle Gallery on 26 August; the exhibition, curated by the Los Angeles-based Estonian American curator, Juri Koll, brings the works by the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol to the Estonian capital.

The international joint exhibition focuses on graphics and, as the name suggests, is bringing forward a wide variety of artists. “There are works in every sense, from edge to edge – from icons of the art world like Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat to the friends and family of curator Juri Koll,” the Fahle Gallery said in a statement.

In addition to the direct links of the exhibited works to the curator, there is something that ties it all together – graphically captured shots – tall palms towering under the skies in California, the first black-and-white scrambled skateboarders beneath them, barefoot surfers on the streets of beach towns and the glittering sunshine of the high and roaring waves of the Pacific Ocean, endless curvy freeways with braking lights, flashing traffic and neon signage, a crisp breeze sweeping the early morning smog, and a silver “Hollywood” sign appearing as a mirage on the mountain side.

“A city where ideas are born and different arts come together, mixing and spreading the outcome then around the world. As if scraped on asphalt with white chalk, the iconic scribbles of Jean-Michel Basquiat are recorded on The Offs album cover, the moment music meets art – punk with graffiti; or Warhol’s designed Velvet Underground album cover – pop art meets punk,” the gallery said.

The exhibition’s poster.

Through the streets of LA to all the way to Koll’s roots

The entire exhibition is dispersed on the walls, majestic and hectic like the largest city on the American West Coast, Los Angeles – in terms of the layout and concept. The exhibition is arranged in a wide variety of styles and imagery – old vinyl covers, doodles and polaroid photos, curator Juri Koll’s path through the streets of Los Angeles, the waves of the Pacific Ocean, through the people, through film and music – all the way to his roots.

Koll’s father and family escaped from Estonia in 1944 – just before the Soviet Union’s final occupation. Koll grew up in California and after earning a degree from the California Institute of the Arts, worked in the film industry as a producer and director for decades.

Juri Koll in the 1970s.

In 2011, he founded the Venice Institute of Contemporary Art, an arts organisation devoted to identifying, protecting and sustaining the unique stories, history and culture of Venice Beach and Southern California. Among many prominent artists, the organisation has exhibited the art of David Hockney, Frank Gehry and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Koll is also a contributing writer to Huffington Post’s arts section.

The “Edge to Edge” exhibition will remain open at the Fahle Gallery until 11 September.

Cover: Juri Koll (right) at the opening of the exhibition, pointing at a work by Jean-Michel Basquiat.

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